I lost count of how many times, throughout the month of April, I said, “I don’t want to do this.”
Or, “I don’t want to write about this.”
Even, “I would rather be doing something else.”
I can honestly say that I don’t think this kind of thing has ever happened to me before. I have never been in a position where I had so much writing to do that it started feeling like a chore. Of course, about half the writing I do is considered work, so in some cases, the chore aspect makes sense. But this was even happening while struggling through my novella, and my ebook, and my novel.
Yes, I am aware that I’m doing too many projects at once. It is a terrible habit of mine, one that usually does not get me into trouble. This past month, though, there were multiple times I really felt like I was just making mistakes left and right. Had it been a bad idea, to start The Novella Concept AND try to finish my novel AND start freelancing? For the record, I started TNC before I was hired for my first freelance writing job. And if you haven’t figured it out already, when I make a commitment, I stick with it.
(Like the unofficial commitment I made to post on this blog every day for a year….which technically started in June 2015….and I haven’t broken my streak yet.)
School really threw me off this time. I’d never been doing as much work as I was last month while balancing graduate school. I’m pretty sure that almost killed me. (Death by carpel tunnel and too many Google searches in one sitting, probably.) I would love to say that I’m not going to run into the same problem again, but a new class starts on the 10th. However, if I can kick my butt into gear and finish writing this month’s novella by the 15th, I should be OK. Right? … Maybe.
It made me sad. To look at how fortunate I am to have all these opportunities to write and to learn, and realize I wasn’t really enjoying any of it. It was just too overwhelming. The writing especially. I started working with a few new clients at the beginning of the month, and that just puts a lot more stress on you than usual anyway. I’m busy wrapping up some end-of-semester things at my part-time job, and trying to force myself to dedicate more time to finishing my novel, but it’s just not happening right now. I am only one person, I can only write so much at once.
This was an important lesson for me though. Looking back on it now, I’ve realized my joy never really left – it just got buried. I still love to write. I love everything I’m doing, even if I am exhausted. Like the rest of the world, I make a lot of excuses. But I don’t let those excuses actually mean anything. They don’t influence whether or not something gets done. They don’t make my decisions for me. I think that is an important trait to develop as a writer. Understanding that excuses will always tempt you, but letting them stop you just isn’t an option.
Always try to keep loving what you do. There are always going to be points when it’s going to get hard. Keep pushing through it. Get back to writing!
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.
Image courtesy of Flickr.